Today I wanted to talk to you about some of the more natural remedies for migraine prevention. I myself take several vitamins and supplements every day to help control my migraines. Here are some of my favorites.
Probably one of the most commonly used supplements for migraine prevention is magnesium. Magnesium is an essential mineral for many different bodily functions. Research has shown that most Americans are not getting enough magnesium in their diet and that most migraine sufferers are low in this mineral.
Magnesium comes in several different forms. One of the most common is magnesium oxide. Magnesium citrate is another frequently used form and also promotes bowel motility and bowel movements. This is useful to prevent constipation but may lead to GI upset or diarrhea. The other forms of magnesium will likely not provide enough absorption when taken orally.
Magnesium is a natural element and can be taken in doses of approximately 400mg to 600mg daily to help prevent migraine. One study found up to a 40 percent reduction of migraine when taken regularly. It is also generally considered safe in pregnancy. The best time to take it is at night before bed as it is also known as a calming supplement that may promote relaxation and sleep.
Foods high in magnesium include green leafy vegetables, nuts, avocados, bananas, lentils such as chickpeas, seeds such as flax and pumpkin, fatty fish and dark chocolate.
Riboflavin has been shown in studies to decrease the frequency of migraines by up to 50% when taken daily. A study published in the journal Neurology showed beneficial symptoms when riboflavin is taken at high doses of 400mg daily and continued for at least several months. Although this dose is much higher than the recommended regular daily allowance, it is a water soluble vitamin that is not stored in the body and any excess will go out in the urine.
Like most B vitamins, you may feel a slight increased energy when taking riboflavin. I take my riboflavin first thing in the morning because I have found if taking before bed it may cause some mild insomnia. Also, don’t be alarmed when your urine is bright yellow. This is a normal side effect of this vitamin and will dissipate throughout the day. This is the supplement I use. Nutricost Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 400mg, 120 Capsules – Gluten Free, Non-GMO
B2 is found in eggs, lean meats, nuts, legumes, dairy products and green leafy vegetables.
CoQ10 is naturally occurring in the body and is involved in the creation of ATP which is the energy source stored in the mitochondria of all of your cells. It is a major antioxidant in your body and helps fight oxidative stress. It tends to decrease with age and supplementation with CoQ10 is good for a variety of things including migraine prevention.
The antioxidant properties of this vitamin like compound helps to maintain cellular integrity and helps with prevention of some chronic diseases. It is useful in decreasing oxidative stress in the brain which could lead to Alzheimers. It has been shown to improve skin damage, heart function, and help with blood sugar regulation.
You can take fairly high doses of this compound and there are very few side effects reported. Taking about 300-400mg daily, with food to improve absorption, is the recommended amount to help with migraine prevention. I like this one because it has no added ingredients like soy or polysorbate 80 and is a higher dose than typical coq10 supplements. Pure CoQ10 400Mg per Serving – Max Strength – 200 Capsules – High Absorption Coenzyme Q10 Ubiquinone Supplement Pills, Extra Antioxidant for Healthy Blood Pressure & Heart
You can find this super nutrient in foods like oily fish, liver and whole grains.
The good news about supplementing with these vitamins is that they are natural, safe and have relatively few if any side effects. They also have many other important functions in your body aside from helping with migraines. You can also take all 3 supplements daily to improve your chances of significant headache control.
I recommend starting one at a time for at least 2 weeks before adding others to ensure that you do not experience any significant side effects. And as always, consult your medical professional if you have questions or concerns.
If you live in the San Diego area, be sure to check us out at DrCamilleMD.com or make an appointment for a house call.
See you next time,
The Migraine Doctor